South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint has announced that he will step down from the Senate as of Dec. 31 in order to head the Heritage Foundation. DeMint, who is highly respected among the Tea Party, believes he can do more on the "outside."
The leading conservative in the Senate will become the next president of the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, according to a statement released Thursday morning by DeMint’s office.
DeMint explained in his remarks, which were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, that now is the time for him to “pass the torch” to another GOP colleague and “take on a new role in the fight for America’s future.”
“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight. I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas,” said the eight-year Republican Senator in his statement. “No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.”
DeMint will succeed Ed Feulner, who has been president of the right-wing foundation since 1977. He will be leaving the group in April 2013.
Thomas A. Saunders, chairman of the Heritage Foundation’s board, espoused that now is a “crucial moment for America and for the conservative movement.”
“Jim DeMint has shown that principled conservatism remains a winning political philosophy,” stated Saunders in a news release. “His passion for rigorous research, his dedication to the principles of our nation’s founding, and his ability to translate policy ideas into action make him an ideal choice to lead Heritage to even greater success.”
DeMint was first elected in 2005 and has served with Lindsey Graham. He was also South Carolina Congressman for three terms.